Jose Mourinho is reported to have a €250 million budget to entice the biggest names in Europe to Old Trafford this summer.
And boy, does he plan on spending it.
According to Spanish media outlet Sport, the Manchester United manager will use the war chest to entice three Real Madrid players to Old Trafford this summer.
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Eric Bailly’s arrival was confirmed yesterday on a £30 million deal from Villarreal and that’s just the beginning of Mourinho’s summer spending.
The paper claims the Portuguese is ready to “destabilise” Madrid by attempting to sign Gareth Bale, Alvaro Morata and one of the following four players: Raphael Varane, Toni Kroos, Dani Carvajal or Luka Modric.
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Mourinho has been handed a budget of €250m - as much as Louis van Gaal spent in his two seasons in Manchester - and it would take half of that just to sign Bale.
El Confidencial reported on Wednesday that Bale is being lined up in a move worth €120m, with United convinced they can entice the Welshman.
That would leave €130m, and United plan on bidding €60m of that on Morata.
Madrid to buy then sell Morata
Morata’s situation is a little more complicated in that he is a Juventus player who Madrid have the first option to sign. Los Blancos can use that clause to sign the 23-year-old and then sell him for a profit.
United might have an advantage over their rivals in their pursuit of Morata due to his relationship with Mourinho. Morata’s view of the Portuguese only improved when Mourinho gave him his Madrid debut six years ago.
“Mourinho could have chosen some other player but he chose me and I’ll be grateful to him for the rest of my life,” Morata said, per The Guardian.
Where Varane, Kroos, Carvajal and Modric are concerned, perhaps the most viable - but, unfortunately for United, expensive - target is Varane. Mourinho is a huge admirer of the French defender and is reported to want another defender despite capturing Bailly.
IBRAHIMOVIC AS WELL?
All this, and Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s name hasn’t even been mentioned yet.
The Swede is expected to complete a one-year deal with United worth around £250,000-a-week, giving the Red Devils the formidable striker they have missed since Robin van Persie netted 30 goals in 2012-13.
ESPN reported that Mourinho will look to sell Ander Herrera, Juan Mata and Marcos Rojo in order to help fund his summer spree.
But, not for the first time in recent history, United’s outlay will far exceed their income.